Celebrating Artist Clarita Ricketts

Contributed by Don Collins

The Miniature Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers Society of Washington, DC, is celebrating its 84th Annual Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature at the historic Strathmore Mansion in Bethesda.  This year 292 artists are participating in this juried exhibit.  Among them is Clarita Ricketts, one of Collington’s resident artists, who has been a member of the Society for the past eight years.

To further celebrate this event, the Interiors Group is honoring Clarita with her own one-woman show here at Collington. 53 of her original works are featured, many framed by the Collington frame shop!

From upper left, clockwise – Grouping 1-6, Aspects of Collington, Untitled, and stamp-sized Country Garden.

For the first time, Clarita will offer some of her originals for purchase.  Please walk down the auditorium hallway and enjoy this unique and beautiful exhibit.  And be sure to bring a magnifier or reading glasses!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marketing Office Invite — Come to their Christmas Event Next Week!

We residents have been invited to join a group of possible future neighbors at a Marketing Event on Tuesday, December 5 from noon to 3:00 pm.
In addition to meeting the visitors, you’ll be able to enjoy:
  • Finger food in the Clocktower
  • Carriage rides throughout the campus
  • Singing by the Chesapeake Choral in the auditorium from 1:30 – 2:30 pm.
 Marketing Invitation

A Difficult and Courageous Testament

The personal testament that appears below is probably not of the kind that we would ordinarily publish on our website.  However, given the urgency of the topic’s moment, the courage of those coming forward and the importance of our national exploration, we are sharing it with admiration for the author’s strength.

The piece is authored by Collington resident Jane Engle, for whom making her name public is itself an important statement.

I wish to take advantage of this moment in history to share briefly a few stories of sexual harassment and abuse from my life. I do so because it is healing for me to write these stories and, even more so, to make them public. I do so in the hope that other residents and those who read this website will also find healing in sharing their stories in whatever venue is appropriate for them. I do so in fear that residents or staff, who are now experiencing similar situations, have remained silent because they fear dire consequences. I hope they find support from all the stories that are being told and the strength to tell the authorities who can help them. What follows involve a family member, a professor, a doctor, a minister and a friend.

A member of my family sexually abused me. I “don’t remember” these events. They are “secrets” in the family. I’ve never told anyone about these events.

A professor during my university studies who was the chairman of my honors thesis sexually abused me over a long period of time. I discovered that he had abused many other students before and after me. The administration knew of his actions, but he continued to teach until many years later when he retired as professor emeritus. He was held in high esteem by the many professional societies he belonged to.

A psychiatrist sexually abused me while I was a student at another university. I saw him at the student health clinic where he was the only doctor. He told me he could help me if I was in analysis with him. First he told me lie on a couch. (This was actually the usual practice in analysis.) Then he said we should have back-to-back hourly sessions. Then he said walks would help me feel more open in the sessions. And then he held my hand during these walks. In his office he told me to undress so that he could help me feel good about my body. Then he felt intimate parts of my body. (This last sentence is so painful to remember and, even more so, to write.) It was almost a decade before I was told and believed that this was most certainly not done to help me and that it was  abuse. I then reported these events to the appropriate professional society.  A committee of psychiatrists listened to our disparate stories, decided that I was not telling the truth, and told the psychiatrist to continue his practice.

A minister sexually harassed an intern in a church where I was also an intern. I found out that he had sexually harassed previous interns as well as a seminary student who was in counseling with him. With overwhelming guilt, the reasons for which are hard to understand today, I told the authorities. The minister continued to serve at the same church during the year long bungled investigation. He told others who were in his care that the events were consensual. A person from the church where he previously had served knew of his behavior, but never said anything because “this would ruin his reputation.” Twenty years later I learned that he had just been retired.

A woman, who had been in a religious order and who is one of my best friends, told me in front of her spouse that she had been raped by a man who was and remains in a religious order. Her companion was horrified and said she had never heard about this even though they had been living together for many years. I’ll never forget her exact words, “This was just one of those things. It happens all the time.”

My stories are not unique. I am quite sure many women and men who read this have had experiences that have been more harmful and possibly even violent. Some will inevitably throw stones at those of us who speak about unspeakable things. We have only our integrity on the line. This being said, I continue to struggle with the “secret” in my family.

We appreciate Jane’s courage in writing this piece, and hope the community can find ways to support her, and surely others in tragically similar situations.

Richard Zorza’s Legal Blog Gets ABA Award

The American Bar Association Journal now does a Web 100 list honoring “the best of lawyers and the law on the web.”  For whatever it is worth, they have included my (Richard’s) Access to Justice blog this year on their list. Here is the link to the blog itself.

Quoting the blog, they describe it as follows:

“We define access to justice broadly to include innovations in courts, the bar, legal aid and community that make it easier for people to obtain access to justice institutions, and to just results within those institutions.” Posts cover a broad range of subjects, including access to counsel, foreclosures, self-service, law schools and technology.

Remember, all my blogs are listed here.

To whet your appetites, here is the begining of the list of topics covered.

cat-1

I know I am not alone in wanting to hear more about other resident’s milestones.

HEROES and Me

Since arriving at Collington this May, Nancy and I have participated in so many old and new pleasures.  Book clubs, memoir writing, tai chi, yoga, balance and beyond classes fill the days.  Plus innumerable volunteer opportunities allow us to expand beyond ourselves.  Growth is inevitable.  Nancy has learned all about haunted houses and how to become the scariest of Collington witches.  And I have become immersed in the theater.  Let me explain.

After attending a few drama committee meetings, I volunteered to help out with the upcoming play, HEROES.  Sometime after rehearsals started I was asked to help the assistant director;  she needed a prop lady.  My journey began by attending rehearsals and moving a few things around.

Experiencing the production of HEROES was a gift.  Watching 3 wonderful neighbors act like 3 confused old men in the manner of vaudeville and observing amusingly stealthy Sister Madeleine plague the men can hardly be called work. Watching the director and assistant director ply their trade will never allow me to see live theater again in the same way.  The inventiveness of the lights and scenery man just plain appealed to my engineering self.  The chanteuse and her accompanist could do no wrong.

3 men and flag

 

Contributing in my own small way — where to place a chair, fetch water, cue actors when to go on stage, tape ear mikes in place, push the button on the video recorder or even teach geese the correct way to fly — made the experience one that I want to take on again and again.

My biggest joy was the camaraderie and constant laughter to the very last bow.  Thank you one and all.